Monday, July 6, 2020

Mbappe announces himself on the international stage at World Cup 2018

David Nugent in Editorial, World Cup 1 Jul 2018

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I have to say when young French forward Kylian Mbappe burst onto the scene as a teenager at Monaco I thought it was a typical case of the media overhyping a player. That was until I saw the forward play.

Since his breakthrough season, the 19-year-old has moved to PSG for big money and enjoyed another fruitful campaign in Ligue One.

However, on Saturday afternoon the youngster announced himself as a top-level player in the international game, as Mbappe helped France through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a brace in a pulsating 4-3 victory over Argentina.

A performance to remember from Mbappe

France has a highly talented group of players, many of them in their prime footballing years. However, the 19-year-old took the game by the scruff of the neck. A blistering burst of pace from his own half led to Les Bleus taking the lead from the penalty spot through Antoine Griezmann.

Mbappe then displayed his predatory side, scoring two second-half goals after defender Benjamin Pavard had scored a goal of the tournament contender.

The youngest had shown flashes of his ability earlier in the tournament. However, his performance against an admittedly poor Argentina team could be the one remembered for a long time to come.

Is developing into the next superstar

Mbappe is a special player. Anybody who has seen the youngster play in the last 18 months will testify to that. The youngster seems to have everything in his locker to be a great player in the future.

He is technically gifted, strong and is lightning quick, which are all attributes that will mean he could thrive in any league around the world. PSG spent a reported £166million to sign Mbappe, and something tells me that may be regarded as a bargain in a few years’ time.

While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two players in their only league, Mbappe has the potential to reach that sort of level in his career. It is incredible to think that the forward is still just 19.

Mbappe not only seems to have excellent football skills, but he also comes across as a pretty humble young man, which is nice to see. The fact that he has donated all the money he receives for playing for the national side at the World Cup to charity suggests he has good character.

The gesture shows that he is mature beyond his years. Reportedly, it has led to a number of the striker’s teammates following suit. If those reports are accurate, then it shows that he is also a leader.

France now joint-favourites to win the competition

Les Bleus are currently odds of 4/1 to win the World Cup after their thrilling win over Argentina. In fact, Didier Deschamps team are joint-favourites alongside Brazil to lift the trophy this summer.

France were always likely to enjoy a good tournament with the quality players in their ranks and Deschamps team look set to go far this summer.

Les Bleus have made it to the quarter-finals, and yet still do not seem to be playing at their best in Russia. It is frightening to think they could improve in the future.

Deschamps side now has an excellent chance of lifting the trophy in Russia later this month. If Mbappe can continue in a similar vein from Saturday, then the French will be hard to stop.

It is slightly ironic that Mbappe could achieve what the two best players of their generation Ronaldo and Messi could not at just 19, by winning the World Cup. There is still plenty of football to be played at Russia 2018, though.

However, Saturday’s game felt like Mbappe announcing himself on the international stage. I am sure that this summer’s World Cup is just the start of what promises to be an outstanding international career for the youngster.

Can Kylian Mbappe help France win World Cup 2018?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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